Walking, Sharing and Picnicking – New Mantra for Staying Healthy and Fit during Travel

Summer is at full swing!  Some of you are just about to leave to well-deserved vacation.  Lucky you!

When traveling, staying healthy and fit often becomes an issue.

As an avid world traveler and foodie, here are my top 3 tips to minimize health issues when traveling:

1. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and walk as much as possible.  By exploring (even commuting to and from "work") the city by foot, you can feel the city, know what’s going on, and keep fit without going to the gym or building in something "special". A lot of people in Asia and Europe stay fit just by walking a lot, and not by "exercising" per se. 

2. We tend to overeat when we travel… all these unique foods looks great, don’t they?  So when going to restaurants, order a variety of dishes and share with others.  That way you can try a larger variety of foods and flavors and eat smaller amounts of each dish – resulting in better balance, higher satisfaction and lower calories.  Make sure to include lots of varieties – especially salads and vegetable dishes – not all meat! In a country like France where they have a great "Plat du Jour", resist the urge to order one per person. Order one, split the appetizer and dessert, and order one extra main (or appetizer) from the regular menu.  Then you can pick anything you want, without overeating. (In case of over-indulgence both food and alcohol, Alka Seltzer works well.  Take one dosage immediately after you realized your over-indulgence, and another in the morning, if you still do not feel better.)

3. For lunch and special events…  Buy a variety of local produce and tasty tidbits at local markets (if farmer’s markets are not open, supermarkets are a good alternative too.) By not eating at a restaurant you can save time, money and your figure… This is also a great opportunity to give a needed rest to your stomach and mind, enjoy good weather with locals at the park, concert, etc. You will have a better sense of place: how locals live and eat, how much things cost, etc.

Bonus tip: If possible, rent an apartment and cook by yourself from time to time. Get a cookbook of local cuisine, and take advantage of the local markets. This will definitely enhance your travel experience and keep more money in your wallet – with the bonus benefit of keeping off those extra pounds. Even if you just make yourself breakfast everyday, it’ll save a ton of money, and you can make friends at the bakery! The best part is that you can re-create and enjoy your tasty memory once you come home — over and over!

By following these simple suggestions, you can maximize your travel experience, stay physically healthy and fit, and maintain mental and financial well-being.

Happy Traveling!

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Batch and Fridge: Onion and Chorizo Mixture: Chickpea Chowder

Rugged coastline of pacific grove

Rugged coastline of pacific grove

Over Mother’s day weekend, we went to Pacific Grove near Monterey, CA for our 10th anniversary.

Being in a coastal town, the dinner had to be seafood.  We were lucky to be able to grab a last minute cancellation at well-known fish restaurant in town.  We were all set.

Having over 2 hours to spend before dinner, we decided to go for a walk by the bay enjoying the rugged coast line…  We ended up walking a lot further, all the way from the lighthouse to downtown. So we had to take the main road back to the hotel.

Pacific Grove  walk

Pacific Grove walk

As we walked along Lighthouse Avenue, something caught our attention.  The sign said “Passionfish”.   Even though we were on the other side of the street, we had to check out the menu. (Menu browsing is one of my favorite pastime.)  Something smelled good too.  Zagat rated…  Food 25, Service 21..  Both very good signs.  And the menu sounded really interesting, much more than our original reservation.  OK, we decided, we are eating here.

We cancelled the other reservation, and ended up having our anniversary dinner at Passionfish.  It was a good decision.

passion fish outside w flash

Passionfish Restaurant in Pacific Grove, CA

One of the specials they had that night was Moroccan Chickpea Chowder with green onion lime cream.  The thing is, people at the next table convinced us that we had to have this out-of-this-world calamari salad, and duck confit, so we decided to skip the soup.  BUT!  Food-obsessed me had to try this some way.  (Don’t worry, I didn’t beg the waitress to give me a sample.)

Since I had a garlic, onion, and chorizo mixture left over in the fridge I made for Portuguese cabbage rice, I decided to make it up at home as soon as I came home.

Since I didn’t even see the soup, it may be very different from the original version at Passionfish, but none the less, it was super fast and delicious (I’d say for this version, Zagat rating 27).  If you make it, you’ll be shocked how easy and flavorful it is.

Chickpea Chowder with green onion lime cream

  1. Heat 1 can chickpeas, 1/2 cup cooked chorizo mixture and 2 cup chicken stock. Puree.  If you just serve this hot, it’s super delicious, especially with drizzle of EVOO, lemon juice, cream or butter.
  2. (Optional) Puree green onion and creme fraiche with hand blender or in a mini-bowl in a food processor.  Mix lime juice.  Add to the hot soup.

    Passionfish inspired Chickpea Chowder

    Passionfish inspired Chickpea Chowder

For the detailed review of Passionfish restaurant I posted on Foodbuzz, click here.

Bon appetite!